tv Washington Journal CSPAN March 30, 2013 7:00am-10:00am EDT
the united states. "washington journal" is live with your calls and e-mails next. ♪ host: that line this morning, obama publishes planned to build roads and bridges. good morning and welcome to this edition of the "washington journal." today is saturday, march 30, 2013. peter baker writes -- useppa proposals to generate money construction projects. that is what we want to talk about the first 45 minutes paying to improve america's infrastructure.
riverside, california. caller: good morning. about the you think president's planned? they are proposing a marriage of public and private investment to pay for construction projects. caller: it sounds like a beautiful place -- plan. i love the way obama is very articulate in his speeches. also, i hope he follows through on it and does not go back on it like he did with the marijuana thing in california. people they attacked they're trying to get medicine with chronic injuries. the infrastructure is very important. we need people to get around safely. in business and having a great life for the american people.
host: while we're talking to you, we want to show you and our other viewers part of the american society of civil engineers' 2013 report card for america's infrastructure. that can be found at infrastructurereportcard.com. wanted to talk to me a little bit about the increase structure from your perspective and they're in riverside. what needs to be worked on? >> we have a beautiful city. that are in charge they are council, doing a great job in riverside, california. the infrastructure is beautiful. we have the 91 freeway at the heart of the city. ramps of theng new freeway there.
it is amazing the progress of infrastructure in riverside. host: gary in virginia, good morning. caller: thank you. we need to analyze and prioritize and design our transportation infrastructure with satellite computer technology because we are ending up with a lot of interchanges that are over-prioritized, underbid, dangerous, and bottlenecks. it has turned into a park built project to get an interchange build. bill project to get and interchange built. they opened up the new lanes. in the first 10 days, took a member killed. we had 10 major incidents. that is light tan lanes. i do not know how many lanes have to be shut down before the
virginia state police call it a major incident. regarding paying to improve america's infrastructure, the lead story in today's washington post talks about maryland approving a gas tax for transportation. they also talk about something in virginia, the vote to approve this legislation in maryland and coming after a transportation plan was approved in virginia, a state led by a republican governor that compete for jobs in a region with some of the nation's worst traffic and justin. estion. what are your thoughts about paying to improve the roads and infrastructure in this part of virginia? caller: i do not like it if it is poorly designed. davidwe will move on to calling from chicago, illinois.
suggest awanted to perspective on infrastructure. by socialn infrastructure is we have massive unemployment, probably the worst since the great depression. we have educated people of work. obamacare that will still not cover millions of people. we have people going into retirement that to not have the means to have a decent retirement. i would call it social architecture. i would focus on creating jobs. one way we create jobs is to top this awful legislation, which would double or triple the number of foreign guest workers on green cards. but american's first to work. there are over 100,000 engineers unemployed in america, plus 1.4 7 million engineers who are not
even working in the field they have a degree in. we have to put this human effort. american citizens born in the country back to work first, before we talk about comprehensive immigration, before we start talking about stapling a green card to foreign students' diplomas. host: a headline this morning in the miami herald -- is this what you're talking about? caller: who is going to do those jobs? will it be american citizens? like the bay bridge in california, will this be made in another country and shipped over and done by workers on of the set? it is not just about creating
jobs. -- on a visa? it is not just about creating jobs, but creating american jobs. the u.s. worker can be displaced in favor of a foreign worker. i cannot tell you how many congressmen have said that americans cannot get displaced. it is current law that americans can be displaced because of people. look at what happened with katrina when they were rebuilding. host: david in illinois, we were talking about paying to improve america's infrastructure. bitant to show you a little of the president's speech yesterday, speaking at port miami in florida. president obama cited infrastructure spending during his tenure, but added that the most recent great for national infrastructure was poor. [video clip]
>> we have done some good work. construction crews have built or improved 350,000 miles of road. that is enough to circle the globe 14 times. we have upgraded more than 6,000 miles of rail. that is enough to go coast-to- coast and back. replacedepaired or more than 20,000 bridges. we've helped to get tens of thousands of construction workers back on the job. because of these efforts, when the american society of engineers put out a 2013 report card on our national infrastructure, they gave us the best overall grade in 12 years. that is the good news. the bad news is we went from a d to a d +. we still have all kinds of deferred maintenance. we still have too many ports that are not equipped for
today's world commerce. we've still got too many rail lines that are too slow and clogged up. we've still got too many roads that are in disrepair, too many bridges that are not safe. we do not have to accept that for america. we can do better, we can build better. in a time of tight budgets, we got to do it in a way that mixture? . dollars are spent wisely. taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. this grade comes from the national society of civil engineers. they give us a current grade of d +. trillion of $3.60 investment is needed to take care of the infrastructure by 2020. current spending falls short by $1.60 trillion. back to the phones, talking about paying to improve america's infrastructure, our
next call from dennis in port jefferson, n.y., on our line for democrats. thank you very much for taking my call. i wanted to mention that sometimes republicans forget when they mention families on austerity or having to be on austerity because we cannot and the money, i think they forget how many families actually have mortgages and how many families also have to pay for school. we have to go into debt sometimes in order to do better. i think that is one thing that president obama is trying to get across. it is to just not getting into the republican territory. i think they enjoy being obstructionist. host: what would you say is the status of infrastructure ron parker percent? port jefferson. host: it has to be improved. you run into tremendous amount
of congesting. the rail lines cannot only be improved for passengers but also for freight. there are a lot of limitations on it that could be taken care of if we could get the loans in order to make these things work. i think we are in better shape than a lot of places in the country, but that does not mean we are at a point where enough and out ofemployed the ditch. i know spending is a problem. there is no question about that. i also think we should manage to get out of that situation if manage the money in a balanced way, as the president is proposing. host: it says in this article, proposing a marriage of private and public investment. how would you go about doing that in terms of merging public and private money to pay for repairs to roads and railways
here in port jefferson? caller: as far as i'm concerned, i think the federal government, if it can get the money or loan the money or get the money generated initially, as they have during the eisenhower administration, what they did for the satellite program -- they started a group of scientists, invested in what they could do to improve an infrastructure of ideas, and president kennedy was the one who benefited from that. it was something that went into a plan of investment. i think that is the type of thing that the federal government is trying to do, that president obama is trying to do in order to support the private industry, in order to get their money to invest in the rail lines and roads as well. host: in the economy and
business section of this morning's washington post -- we will get more from that in a few seconds. ohio on ourercy in line for republicans. caller: i am all for infrastructure. i've got big trucks on highways. year forut $3,000 a license plates. cut the fuel tax. the republicans and democrats, they are not getting it. there's plenty of money in this country if would stop sending our money to places that not
needed. from we've got a tweet joseph ramirez who says -- caller: very true. parties, they're split in the middle, they do not want us to put our money in our own country. we need to do something with our own country. the bridges and roads in ohio are horrible. michigan, horrible. minnesota, horrible. to john will move on in pleasant prairie, wisconsin, on our line for independents. caller: thank you. i think the bridge deal especially, a lot of the interstate bridges, back in the 1960's and 1970's, nor under designed in order to complete and cheaply so that we could finish them.
now we're paying for it a little bit. obama likes to talk about the bridge between kentucky and ohio. it handles truck traffic like you could not believe. of course is going to wear out faster. the railroad bridge a mile away, 10,akes harmony, five, 18,000 ton trains a day over that bridge. they carry basically kohl over to the power plants. powerl over to the plants. it was built over 120 years ago. host: what would you say about the infrastructure situation in pleasant prairie? caller: is not really a problem. there's not much traffic up here. maybe if you want to 100 miles per hour, it would be severe. host: where is pleasant prairie?
wisconsin-is on the illinois state line. it is on lake michigan. it is in the southeast corner of the state. want to letnder, we you know that you want to see how the american society of civil engineers graded your particular state in its 2013 report card for america's infrastructure, you can find that at infrastructure reportcard.org. it is also linked on our web site. next up is a caller from houston, texas, on our line for democrats. caller: thank you. i am happy to see the president investing to -- hello -- back home. that is really great. the only reservation i have on go around like to
back to the phones. sharon in dexter, missouri, on our line for republicans. yes.r: our president, when he gets up there, he talks a good talk about doing things like construction and our construction workers out of work and the highways and roads and all that stuff, but he is the one that is spending all the money. every time we listened to him, he wants a vote so we can raise more taxes, but he is the one that sends the money here overseas to help other countries. he is the one that bailout all of the banks and everything and car places. all of bailed out
line for independents. caller: the fuel tax that was put in here is what is supposed to take care of and for structure. we pay state and federal tax on every gallon of gas sold in this country. with millions of cars and trucks in buses, we should never be need of money to fix the infrastructure. they use the taxes in this in for, whenever we put taxes, they never use it for. that is the problem with this government. they take our money. terrible.nship is that is american workers. [indiscernible] american workers do not know how to work. that is why we bring in the mexicans. host: what you think about
maryland? maryland has approved a gas tax increase for transportation. maryland lawmakers gave final approval to the first increase in the state's gas tax in 20 years, acting to replenish a transportation fund that is rapidly running out of money for highway construction and long- planned mass transit projects. what would you think of something like that happening in massachusetts? caller: they use the gas tax money to fund the public transit, about $30 billion in a block. they use it for that. they use it for amtrak. people do not understand what is really going on. that is what makes me angry about americans. they listen to the news. they do not get it. call your congressman and asking questions.
host: let me show you one more thing. we've got a tweet from one of your neighbors -- caller: i believe we pay for how much more? the gas station i go to, if they pay the taxes on theire -- for state and federal tax. it was 70 cents a gallon. as every gallon of gas that is sold. there is plenty money, but they do not use it for what it is supposed to be used for. host: we will move on to ted in jamestown, ky, on our line for democrats. caller: yes, i watch c-span practically every morning.
i thank you for the information that i have received. this is the first time i have never called in. i appreciate your program. host: we appreciate you watching. what you think about the president's plan about paying to improve america's infrastructure? caller: i know we need it. i am a retired truck driver. i know how badly we need the highways improved. not only that, think about how many jobs it would create. i think it is very much needed. i say yes. host: when you're driving the truck, what was the toughest part, the wear and tear on the roadways? what took its toll the most on your truck? caller: the roads were wroth. probably -- rough. probably the best part, smooth road.
i think about that in minnesota, the bridge that fell down out there. there are lots of bridges like that. people's lives will be at stake if they do not fix them. host: more from washington post article -- that is alan krueger, chairman of the council of economic advisers. frank in south carolina, on our line for republicans. go ahead. i would like to say,
first off, i do not like the way they built this bridge in san francisco. they went to china to build a bridge. then they have all kinds of problems with it. i would like to say, we've got nine% unemployment in south carolina. most of the construction workers are from a different country. they are here on work visas. withr: do you think along the president's plan should be some provision that we hire more american workers? host: i think they should use american steel for sure. as unemployment is 9 per cent, they should hire american workers first. placid,chard in lake florida, you're on the "washington journal." that thet appears president's plan is government by crisis, every week, every week is another crisis. he comes out campaigning.
now for gun control. we've got north korea threatening us. we've got wars going on in the middle east all over the place. he seems to be building up munitions and war equipment for homeland security to fight hoot? -- who? all these other problems and initiatives he throws us -- the stimulus package was supposed to fix roads and bridges. however, we do not know where that money went. it's just like health care. and the solutions by the white house to not fix anything. they just continue the status quo. i think it is time that we need a change in government, big time. i think people need to wake up and look around and see what is going on. it is a very scary situation. we've got big time unemployment. it is only getting worse. host: as we continue our
conversation regarding payne to improve -- paying to improve america's infrastructure, we want to listen to this week's republican radio address. of nebraska called for construction of the keystone xl pipeline, a project he says will help lower energy bills and create tens of thousands of american jobs. [video clip -- [video clip] >> this project would bring more north american energy to the workplace. all told, keystone will create roughly 20,000 jobs related to the construction and it will create another 118,000 jobs downstream. labor leaders in my hometown of omaha say it will create 2000 jobs here. keystone is primed to give our economy a shot in the arm and make energy more affordable. it will not cost the taxpayers a dime. despite all of that, the obama
administration continues to block keystone using every bureaucratic and excuse in the book. it has now been more than 1600 days since the initial permits were filed for building the pipeline. to put that in perspective, it took united states a little more than 1300 days to win world war ii. it took lewis and clark about 1100 days to walk the louisiana purchase and back. the keystone excellent pipeline is a no-brainer. is this weekend's republican address from representative lee terry of nebraska. you can find the weekly republican address on our web site c-span.org. the conversation on facebook, part of it looks like this --
back to the phones. philadelphia, pennsylvania, on the line for democrats. caller: good morning. i would just like to say this-is the mindset of the american thele, -- this -- it is mindset of the american people, the markets are all over the place, and we're still out of jobs. it seems we cannot come together as a nation to talk about what is our problems in reference to jobs. the president tries to put on a just like during
roosevelt's time. the american people need to come to grips with what is their real problem. we can have that market going up in new york, if it is not producing a nickel in your house, what are you talking about? we have i-95. we have road bridges in terrible shape. here theyhe buckle wer had to stop the whole way. this is ridiculous. host: in other news, as we get from the new york daily news --
back to the phones. our conversation regarding paying for improving america's infrastructure. our next call calls from texas, on our line for republicans. perry you are on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. i do not know why we have to raise our taxes for the roads. my tags on the truck and i drive are $927, just for the tax. that is not counting the trailer or the other permanent i've got to have to have an overweight permit. they make plenty of money off of that. they just need to learn how to put it out right for the bridges and roads. host: what kind of freight to you hall? concrete.
host: i want to assure you it tweet that we have here from malia -- your thoughts on that? caller: i don't know. i think that is good in a way it will be defeated that filibuster. move on to jim in west virginia, on our line for independents. talk aboutant to this infrastructure. there is no doubt that the bridges and highways need repair in this country. i had a chance to work for a major contractor up in indiana. it does most of the state's paving. .hey did a lot of thin coating in my travels, i had been up to
oregon, washington state, i say, why is it that you're roads are so much better than the words -- and the roads in the midwest? he says, we put our pavement about two or 3 inches thicker than what they do in indiana. this was on a toll road. it is set up for catastrophe. when a paving company, they want to buy new equipment. there was a couple hundred thousand on this, a couple hundred thousand on that. that is a problem. many bridges, thousands of bridges all over the state, the world's largest art bridge is 40 miles from here -- it is a beautiful structure -- the world's largest arch bridge -- i could go 15 miles away to a bridge built in 2007, and on that bridge, i fish underneath it, and it got pretty heavy
traffic -- there are plates of still coming off the bridge. up there, made in china. host: in the denver post this morning, on their front page, they are talking about a massive project to make eastbound traffic on i-70 flow better through idaho springs. lookinghe overhaul, anxiously at the possibility that tourism may be curbed. the article is called "tunnel vision." they write --
you can read more of that in the denver post. back to the phones. kathy in michigan on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning. i was looking at the website thing in -- the first the wintertime is the bike paths and four major roads. those are plowed first. after those are plowed, the rest of the roads are plowed. people ride their bikes to work. winter,y all to the summer, fall. we have a bike path here that they're going to take all the way up to mackinac. it all the way too far laboy -- charlavoy. the sidewalks are applied for
children to walk to school. both sides of the street. that helps get people out, get the kids moving. i think we need to look at in addition to repairing -- repairing our roads. the roads in michigan, most of them are in poor shape. what about the president's plan for a mix of private and public money to pay for these repairs and bring in the infrastructure back to where it should be? caller: i would like to see the federal government take charge. the bike path here that they finished off and put a little section on -- there were great until the snow felt -- that was done by private company. they do very good work is called ellmers. work. they are called elmers.
tom in college hill, pennsylvania, on our line for republicans. go ahead. i would like to speak a little that to the situations washington seems to demagogue. all the people in this country that drive trucks and cars, we invest in infrastructure every time i go to the gas pump. the problem isn't the money to invest. the problem is that all of the infrastructure is in washington d.c. these people take our money and do not give it back. we get pennies on the dollar. we pay every day. our tax bills are higher and higher. the gas tax is stable. where do they go with the money? they're not putting it into the roads and highways. now they are asking us to give us -- give them more money. give us back our
money or take the tax away and let the states handle this issue. they are stealing money, just like they still looked for all the social security in that lock box. they spent all that money. now we are going to have to borrow money on a regular basis to put it back into the lock box. our $1 trillion deficits are going to be $1.50 trillion deficits. thank you very much. host: let me throw something. the president mentioned an infrastructure bank in his proposal. here is one tweet -- what are your thoughts? a man in theave presidency who does not know what his job is. his job is to run the government efficiently. he is not running the government efficiently. he spends an waste all of our time and money talking to us,
let train us what we should do. we do not need a lock box. we need the government to get out of the road business. all of the roads are in a state. the money to the state. let the states spend money on their own roads. i live in pennsylvania. on our line for independents. go ahead, george. caller: i would also like to comment on the issues you raised this morning. for 10 years for a company that was non-union. they had put me to work on federal and state and city roads, school systems, hospitals, etc.. for thisas working noticular company, i was unionized.
they weret to me, putting me under, they were running a split shop. the owner of one company had his take mehad a license under his unionized plan, although i was not a union member, and he was reporting to inspectors my union card number, and it turned out to be -- after i had left these two companies and joined as an electrician, i found out later on that his sons thatamily were the ones were getting all the union benefits and all the union pay for these particular jobs. talking about 15 years , i found out, just
by coincidence, i came by on a saturday, and he asked me to drop off some equipment and piping needed to improve electrical systems going into a particular school. this also on federal highways and state highways. getting the union wage or any type of benefit. host: regarding the improvement of america's infrastructure and relating it to this article in the washington post about plans visas, he and -- would be in favor of that? caller: i would not be in favor of that. these two gentlemen got caught.
there license was pulled. ,he 86-year-old man, the owner he was taken away and put in jail. he could no longer have a license. also eventually caught, but there were no fines or penalties. there licenses were taken away. host: earlier we showed you part of the republican address this week. sayingntative lee terry it is time to build the keystone xl pipeline. scott king is on facebook and is part of the conversation. scott king says --
james on our line for democrats. go ahead. caller: good morning, sir. host: your thoughts about the president's plan for paying to improve america's infrastructure? caller: actually, i think everybody should lay off the president and let him do his job, dammit. the good news is he's actually doing work. take a look at what we're doing in order to help him. we're not helping the leader. another thing is the spending. move intoial would that position and not to any spending? we have a common goal which is
bobby in texas on our line for republicans. bobbie, your thoughts about president planned for paying to improve america's infrastructure. caller: i think it's great to improve the infrastructure. that is something that is not justcontinuously, going out to the next up and for bennet. that is great. the only problem is the money that we set aside to improve the infrastructure, that is going to other things, other things that have not had as much expenditures in the past as they do now. what i think the president needs to do is get back into his office, sit down, and figure out how his current take the money that we already paid to improve the infrastructure away from the places that we have been spending and spending on infrastructure. host: bobbie, we're going to leave it there. coming up, americans' paychecks got smaller in january due to the payroll tax hike.
we will asked reuters economic ifrrespondent pedro de costa it is affecting consumer spending. later, an author who wrote a book about the secret service will talk about the agency's new leadership and its future. you're watching the "washington journal." it is saturday, march 30. we will be right back. ♪ >> mr. secretary, we're going to put them down as undecided. [laughter] >> mr. chairman, as i listen to , it struck me what a wonderful thing free- speech is. >> that was the hearing or
donald rahm spelled -- rumsfeld was making the justification for attacking iraq. what you did not hear was our question, how much money as halliburton going to make from this war? how many u.s. soldiers will be killed? how many iraqi civilians will die from this adventure? i would like those questions answered now. medea benjamin sunday night at 8:00 on c-span's "q&a." >> monday night, and harrison whose husband died after one month in austin -- in office. who becomes the president second wife. >> julia was the madonna of first ladies. she loved publicity. she actually posed as a model at
a time when that was frowned upon. the rows ofn as long island. by all accounts, she was the witching. which 57-year-e old john tyler. loved being first lady. she had a job for less than a year. marine band to play here -- help to the chief. it was also julia tyler who greeted her guests sitting on a platform with purple plumes in her hair, as if she had receded to that queenly washington-- that rejected. >> we will include your questions and comments about these three first ladies monday night live at 9:00 eastern on c- span. also on c-span radio and at c-
span.org. journal"ngton continues. is a: pedro de costa journalist with reuters. he is here to talk about a payroll tax and consumer spending. we will be getting into how consumers have responded to the payroll tax resuming to its higher levels after the 2012 fiscal cliff deal. what is the payroll tax? how does it work? caller: it is the tax that bonds social security essentially. it has been around essentially since the 1930's. the way it works is that the employer pays half of it. half of it is taken out of our paychecks. most recently, there had been what is called a holiday that lasted two years that was park of a post-recession attempt to
stimulate the economy at the margins. that was due to expire as part of a larger set of budget issues that were unresolved in .ashington as part of the final agreement that avoided the massive potential but the fiscal cliff had, it was agreed that the payroll tax holiday which expire. taxes would go up again. the tax rate went up by 2% from 4.2% up to 6.2%. caller: why did it go back to this higher level? what will that money be used to pay for? host: it goes into the social security fund. that was something that was agreed upon, that this would be -- the holiday was never meant to be permanent.
that tax is not move up rapidly in the past. back toafter it goes its previous levels, what impact has had on consumers, particularly on their psychology, on their spending and so forth? caller: anybody when they get their pay check and they realize a decent money -- decent amount of money missing, you're supposed to see about $130 less for your paycheck for the average american salary. is not totally insignificant. it is also not deal breaking change. it is not that huge where its effect on spending is enormous. the data has been inconclusive. we have had some signs of
consumer spending picking up. -- thiscourse we have is not the last of the fiscal battle. then we have the sequester. that is another wave. we still have debt ceiling negotiations ahead. there is more trouble in the wings. i think the worry from the point of view of the economy as a whole is that the cumulative impact of these budgetary issues at a time when the economy is already kind of struggling with weak growth. host: in this morning's wall street journal -- if consumer spending was up,
what was the big fear about losing that spending once the payroll tax went back up to its previous level? host: we're basically talking about opposing forces in the economy. and it's their fourth year of the economy, the economy has been extremely weak. we actually are finally starting to get some traction in many areas. we're starting to see auto sales picked up, housing market is getting traction, home prices are going up. there is some momentum in the u.s. against which comes at this fiscal restraint, this austerity that is being imposed. the effect of driving growth lower. it is a balancing act between the two. this latestes -- spending data did cause us r
aise the gdp forecast. three% would be a real bounce back from the last quarter in which we stalled at the end of the year. february, the spending excited. the gasoline price increase accounted for some amount of that increase. when you look at it inflation- adjusted, real spending, that only rose 0.3%. that moderates the view of how strong it was. then if you look at march consumer confidence data, which can be a leading indicator of spending sometimes, that plunged sharply because we do not know why, but it could be because of the sequester and fears of further job losses. >> we're talking with pedro de costa of reuters. he's here to talk about the payroll tax and consumer spending. the numbers are there on the screen to get involved in the conversation --
you can also send us messages on twitter, facebook, and e-mail. our first call calls -- comes from stephen from minnesota on our line for independents. you're on the "washington journal." caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. my question to your guest is, my payroll tax increase. my question to you is, did the tax credits go away? of patriotism.em did the bush tax credits go away? host: yes, essentially the final debate was basically the obama
team wanted to let the bush tax cut for the wealthy expire, but keep the bush tax cuts that were in place for the middle class. was thatate agreement the payroll tax cut expired. there were some changes in the capital gains tax cut that bush had implemented. yes, the bush tax cuts were primarily held in place. host: caller: my comment is -- ok, i the government of the united states of a whole -- if they would just -- i just listen to a program on a christian radio station, and it said how to help the economy and everything if we would just cut taxes across the board.
that would help tremendously. that would help businesses. that would help the workers and everything. if they would just get off the can and we cut taxes from top to bottom, that would help everybody out. i will listen to your comment. guest: there is that school of thought out there. there are economists who believe that tax cuts are inherently pro-growth and that we should have lower tax rates. there are people who call for a flat tax. the bush tax cuts themselves suggest that tax cuts are not inherently pro-growth because the tax cuts were implemented in 2001 and we did not have the economic boom that was originally promised. there were other things going on. i'm not sure that simply cutting taxes ad infinitum would solve the problem. host: we have the tweet from a virginia, a texan, who says if anything tax hikes increase
consumer spending because geezers spend what workers might have saved. guest: that is an interesting way to look at it, but there is evidence that during the clinton administration, for instance, there were tax increases, and the economy was booming, so tax policy looked at in the single compartment does not account for the entire growth outlook. we have a jobs problem in this country. we are coming out of a housing crisis that was historic that left americans deeply in debt, so some of the efforts that have been made to push the housing market along seem to be paying off to some extent now. but in terms of jobs, it is a really deep hole that we need to crawl out of. we lost about 8.5 million jobs during the recession. we've made up about 5.5 million of those. there is still a three-million- job gap, and that does not account for population growth.
host: what kind of evidence is there that the spending continues at the expense of saving? that even though americans are paying higher taxes, that they are not saving as much, which allows them to spend more. guest: that could be a problem down the line, of course. we have been a nation of deleveraging, which is a term you hear a lot in the context of this last recession -- basically people and corporations trying to lower their overall debt levels. we've had the process happening, and a lot of people say it has run its course. but if people did into their savings and incomes fail to keep up, you could land in trouble later on. i saw research that asked people if they were saving any less because of the tax cut, and i think it was a quarter who said they were not changing their spending habits at all.
they were getting less money but spending the same amount. the people who were cutting were cutting primarily on restaurants and eating out. gonean also have not effects. spending begets more spending, so people cut back on restaurants, and you have to think about the impact that has on those jobs and the income of those small businesses. host: we will go back to the phones. ed from massachusetts. caller: good morning. taxrepeal of the payroll holiday, of course, is part of the political focus on reducing the federal budget deficit. however, i think our policy makers in washington and the media and financial sectors seem to have totally ignored the fact that the budget deficit shrank by $206 billion in fiscal year
2012. that is almost 15%. in other words, the recovery, weak and tepid as it is, has nevertheless produced at enough tax revenue to shrink the deficit by that amount without any spending cuts or tax increases. at that pace of deficit reduction, the budget would be in balance within about five years. can you comment on that? guest: you are absolutely right. the budget deficit has been coming down. people talk about the deficit problem in this country, and there's different ways to look at it. essentially, because the budget deficit is related to economic growth, as the caller has suggested, if you cut too much too quickly, then you run into a problem of declining job growth, which began its declining tax revenue -- begets declining tax revenue.
you see that in countries where harsh austerity measures have been imposed and the economies are sinking into a deeper red. the caller makes a good point. there was the budget deficit, but there is also an enormous job deficit, which i was speaking to before. in addressing that employment deficit, which is more than 3 million jobs, which is a , thenvative estimate there is a case to be made that in tackling the jobs issue, you are actually, you know, clearing up the budget picture. host: next up is harry in california on our line for independents. caller: i am looking at "barron's" from two weeks ago. the article says that the tax hikes of this magnitude, equal to $275 billion, would take 1.8% out of the $15 trillion
economy grew just 3.85% in nominal terms. here's the point -- historically, the main effects are seen mainly in the second and third quarters after the tax hikes. initially, consumers try to maintain their standard of living by dipping into savings. later they cut back. your take on that? guest: that is an interesting take. the estimates i was looking at for the payroll tax hike itself were that the gdp effect would be about 0.6 percentage points. it add to that the half a percentage point expected to come from the sequester -- if you add to that the half a percentage point expected to come from the sequester, you have 1.1%, but it is an issue of an economy that is barely growing, and taking these kind of contraction very measures at a time when the economy is
already teetering is generally not a good idea. it is kind of a bipartisan notion, at least among economists -- fed chairman bernanke is a republican, but he urged congress not to allow the sequester to kick in because he alluded to the same point that i did earlier, which is that by making rapid cuts too quickly, you would essentially be digging a deeper hole because your deficit problem would actually worsen. there is something to be said for the delayed effect of the tax. we do not know how long consumers can keep up their spending. that speaks to the point that we were mentioning earlier about people cutting into their savings initially. maybe they have a little bit to fall back on, but the longer it goes, then it gets more difficult. host: you mentioned fed chairman bernanke. in an article that you co offered this week -- in an article that you co-authored
this week. so what kind of signals is the chairman looking for that would allow the fed to sort of ease up on their policy and put more money into the economy? guest: they have said that they are waiting for a substantial improvement in the economy. does two aspects to the fed interest rate policy now -- there's two aspects. they have pushed interest rates to 0, so then they had to start buying mortgage and treasury bonds to bring long-term
interest rates down. this is an unconventional and somewhat controversial policy, but the evidence suggests it has had a beneficial effect. what the fed wants to see before it stops these asset purchases is what they call substantial improvement in the labor market. they have specifically left a that undefined because they are looking at too many indicators for them to just give you a level of the jobless rate that they want to hit -- they have specifically left that undefined. we need to essentially be creating enough jobs that we are consistently putting a dent in unemployment. the general measure that economists are looking at is we had surprisingly strong job growth of 236,000 jobs, and the pace of job growth has improved in the last few months. if we keep that up for another three or four months, the expectation is we start to dial
back on the stimulus, cut back ,he monthly pace of bond buying and then there is another aspect, which is that rates will stay at 0 even after they stop buying bonds. the other thing that they tell going toy are not raise rates until the jobless rate falls to 6.5%, but an interesting part of what you mention is the fact that the fled -- the fed is flagging fiscal concerns. it speaks to how dissonant monetary policy is from fiscal policy. you have a monetary policy that is pedal to the metal, really trying to get growth in the economy, and a fiscal policy that is austerity-based and contraction area. fiscal policy
going to have more of a positive effect on consumer spending? guest: that is the idea. especially by not only keeping rates low but by assuring consumers that they will remain that way. the notion is people will finally kind of did their toes into the housing market -- dip their toes into the housing market, into the car market, and that employers will feel more comfortable hiring. with all the headwinds the economy is facing, there's all kinds of difficulties ahead. the fact that the economy is sustaining some kind of growth speaks to the effect of this policy. host: what will have a bigger effect on job growth -- consumer spending or some of the projects like we talked about in the previous segment, the infrastructure projects the president is talking about trying to work on? guest: in the short term,
consumer spending has to be the driver. until we change our economic composition, and i have been saying this since i started as an economics reporter more than 10 years ago, consumer spending is 2/3 of the u.s. economic activity. it is still around that level -- i think it is a little bit more, actually. consumer spending has to bail at the economy in some form. infrastructure spending can definitely be a driver of economic growth, and it can have a cyclical affect where once you have the infrastructure spending, you get the jobs that allow people to have confidence in spending again, but that is kind of a two-step process. ast: pedro da costa has bachelor's degree from the university of chicago and the london school of economics and a master's degree from the university of california at san diego. he reports for reuters.
lineup is valerie on our for democrats. caller: good morning, folks. i have just a few quick comments. you asked a question that gave me a few caught -- a new comment, and the question you asked was what would be better for the economy -- consumer spending for infrastructure spending? he answered consumer spending. that is really kind of grossly inaccurate because if people do not have jobs, there is no consumer spending. zero andrest rates at a republican party twith sweepig victories in 2010, they promised for months on end one sound bite and only one sound bite -- "our number one priority is jobs." , it wentut two weeks
away as republicans began driving the message of debt crisis, deficits, and debt, and everybody forgot about the number one priority being jobs. president obama talked about and infrastructure bank. a few years ago, we had a bridge collapse in minnesota. how many people died as their cars plunged into the river? all these bridges and roads are falling apart. we want businesses to be confident in our country, in our infrastructure. china makes us look like a third world country that cannot get its act together. the media is the next biggest problem because they will not hold the legislators' feet to the fire. they insisted it would be jobs, jobs, jobs, and after about two
weeks, the media jumped on the deficit bandwagon. the last thing we need to do is go to austerity, and proof of that is just look at london. if you look at the u.k., you will see they have done it a second time -- pedro alerie, let respond. guest: i agree with you on the point of austerity. the point i was making about consumer spending was actually much more narrow. the current composition of our gdp is consumer-spending-based. that does not mean it is a good thing. we could have a much better balance of actual investment and spending, and that is actually a long-term economic goal for the country, but unless there is political agreement to create an infrastructure bank or do some kind of massive spending, which there does not seem to be any
consensus for, so that is what i would say -- from that standpoint, if you do not have that and to do not have consumer spending, the economy will shrink. that is just a mathematical reality. that is sort of what i meant. i agree with you 100%. i have lived in many different cities. i spent nine years in new york city, and it looks pathetic from and infrastructure standpoint compared to any european city. i have not been to china, but the images look pretty impressive. is high-d what we have speed rail, but it is really an express train that makes fewer stops. we definitely have third-world- ish infrastructure. host: in your article, you also write that in a statement, fed officials took note of the economy's brighter signs but also not to the head winds from a title fiscal policy in
washington -- nodded to the head winds from a tighter fiscal policy in washington. they also said global financial strains were easing. elements in cyprus with the prospect of a tax to help fund the country's bailout jitters through a global financial system earlier this week likely reinforced the fed's resolved to bolster the u.s. economy -- resolved to bolster the u.s. to bolsterresolve the u.s. economy. is there any serious thought to trying to do something like that in the united states? to tax bank savings in the united states as a way of making money? guest: absolutely not. i would rule it out even as a remote possibility in united states. host: what the long-term effects in cyprus, and what affect would that have in the united states?
guest: that is a strong possibility. i do not expect the united states to try to tax bank deposits. it is proving to be a pretty bad idea in cyprus. the way the cyprus could affect us -- it is kind of ironic that an island the size of cyprus could have global economic repercussions, and it speaks to the global nature of our financial system and the size of the banking sector -- the way the cyprus could affect the rest of the world is essentially, they have set a precedent at least in the eurozone, so when the story was written, there was not a resolution. in the end, there was a resolution, which did not tax insured depositors -- people who had under 100,000 euros in the banks -- it did tax uninsured deposits above that. this would set a precedent which has set up all kinds of debate within europe. there is one camp with dutch and
other officials saying this is a great template for future bailouts, so that has people in places like spain and italy that also have problematic banking sectors worried, so i guess their concern is that the situation in cyprus is calm. they have capital controls would essentially undermine the point of the eurozone, which is a free flow of cash. there is a separate euro -- cypriot euro, so it is the first chink in the armor of the disintegration of europe, it is a worrisome problem. the way it transfers to the united states is the banking sector is so interconnected that our banks would be affected as well. host: we have a tweak that says that the payroll tax holiday was just a 2012 vote-getting ploy. if people do not like paying social security tax, stop collecting benefits. your thoughts about that? guest: that is a fair point that
does not get made too often about the cap on what income gets tax for social security. you only get a social security only affectsl tax in come under it -- up to $13,000, so if you're making about that, that is not tax for social security. some folks say that you could raise a lot of revenue by just removing that cap because you are essentially exempting a lot from payingwealth social security taxes. host: according to this chart we got from the "washington post, in red -- from the "washington post," in red is the percentage of tax increases. people making more than $1 million got 99.9% tax increase. people making less than $10,000
only got a 64% tax increase. it also shows what the average tax increase was. for those making less than $10,000, the average tax increase was $106. for those making more than $1 million, the average tax increase after the expiration of the payroll tax holiday was $171,330. guest: that is looking at the entire tax hike picture, right? that is the entire fiscal clift deal -- fiscal cliff deal. that includes the estate tax increase that was implemented. the capital gains tax hike. a $170,000ing about hit on incomes that are sort of astronomical and beyond the comprehension of most of us, so you have to keep that in perspective. >> -- host: we are going back to
the phones to continue our conversation with pedro da costa. go ahead. caller: your guest has not talked about how obamacare has affected consumer spending. insurance rates have gone up a lot. mine has gone up over $200 per month. you couple that with the payroll tax increase, and that is a big chunk out of one's monthly income. guest: i'm not a health sector expert, but i do not know that -- i have not seen wide evidence that health care cost increases have been particularly abrupt in the last few months. there is not any particular evidence of that. there is a sense that people feel -- people talk about inflation, and people worry about their money not going as
far, and they get baffled by the notion that we say inflation is low in the united states, but that is in part because people's incomes have not kept up. even small price increases can make us feel like we are falling farther behind, so i would keep that in mind. there is a lot of vitriol over the health-care debate, a lot of anger on both sides. there's an argument to be made that by broadening the base of health-care recipients that you are actually ultimately lowering the cost, and that is the intention of the policy the way it was crafted, but the long- term economic impact of health reform is a long-term issue, and it is not something that is going into, like, quarterly gdp calculations. host: the lead story in yesterday's "usa today" had the
headline "we are feeling rich again." talk to us about the relationship between what is happening on wall street and the consumer confidence that people are feeling on main street. guest: there is a weird disconnect, right? people sometimes feel that, you know, that a rallying stock market only benefits the wealthy. that is the case in the sense that the wealthier you are, probably the more securities you own and the bigger your portfolio, but increasing number of americans has a stake in the stock market. ,ut still it is only about half it is still a relatively small proportion of the population. the nice thing about that data that you suggested is that it is
not actually just stock-market gains. it helps us to stabilize. housing is just so much more concrete in terms of the confidence-inducing factor. i think housing is even more important to the consumer than the stock market. host: next up is judy calling from rochester, new hampshire. caller: thank you for c-span. it has taken me so long to get in to you guys, and i have so much to say about our poor little country. host: well, we are running out of time. caller: i do not know why people complain because it was actually a gift that was given to us, but we paid the 6.2% to begin with. the government should have given us a 2% decrease in our income tax instead of our social security because it was not a pay raise. they took it away from our
retirement plans. they took it away from the american people. now they are putting it back in. i also said that when people -- that people need to realize that when payroll goes up like this, payroll taxes, and minimum wage goes up or salaries go up, a lot of people do not realize that an employer -- our state unemployment goes up, our federal unemployment goes up, and we have to pay more on social security and medicare because payroll went up. workman's comp is outrageous, and it is the most abused thing in the system, and people do not realize if they would quit abusing the system, including our politicians, that maybe we would have money to do everything from infrastructure to supporting our military. they passed a bill, but they do not tell you about all these little robots they put in. when can we get some intelligent
people in the white house? host: we applaud your perseverance. pedro da costa. guest: there's a general sense among the american people that there is an embedded corruption in our political system, and that is a very corrosive thing for the country as a whole. it is really something that washington needs to work on, its image. i do not really know what the solution is, but it has something to do with corporate influence and the funding of campaigns. to the point the caller made, one of the things i would highlight is that some of the same folks complaining about -- saying that social security is the core of our deficit nightmare are also very reluctant to raise taxes, so if
we want the social security -- the long-term issue of social security in an aging population to be resolved, we have to be willing to pay the piper, if you will. host: our last call comes from virginia. jay, you are on the "washington journal ." caller: thank you for taking my call. my comment was that we could collect taxes that ordinary people need to pay, and they do not -- host: jay? guest: i'm sorry, did we lose him? caller: i'm here now. if we could collect the taxes that would do the federal government and in particular thatthe illegal workers the government has on their payroll -- because they are not collecting the taxes from them
-- they could collect a lot of money in that way. guest: i don't know about illegal workers on the government payroll. i would think the last place you know, tax evasion is a problem. it is not a gross problem compared to other countries in the united states. one of the things you could do to make sure you collect all the tax as possible is to simplify the tax code so there are not so many loopholes. the more money you have, the better accountant you could hire and the more you can find ways to move your money around. folks with more resources can kind of avoid ericka -- can avoid bearing the burden. host: you can find some of our guests articles and letters.com. thank you so much for being on.
coming up, president obama appointed the first female director of the secret service this week. we will talk about the future of the agency with ronald kessler. author of the book "in the presidents' secret service." "glocl" will be here to talk about how that manufacturer came to dominate the gun market. we want to let our viewers know what is coming up on a "newsmakers." richard trumka is our guest. mr. cronkite talks about the union's position in the national debate over immigration and beasts as for foreign workers -- also,for foreign workers declining union membership. >> i applaud the president for opening up a conversation and getting a debate going on. that was very important.
it was necessary for the president to use his bully pulpit to do that. >> it was not part of the campaign. this was a change to hear. the minimum wage has really lagged behind. to 1968 and you brought the minimum wage forward with inflation, it would be $10.68 right now. if you kept it in place for what the average wage was, it would be around $12 right now. it is important for us to increase the minimum wage. house and senate democrats have come together with a bill that is $10.60. that will be indexed according to the average wage. the president's proposal was $9. that was disappointing. we think it should be hired to keep up with inflation to get .eople where -- to where it was
our economy is 72% driven by consumer spending. when people have money in their pockets, they can spend. when they spend, they create demand. creates jobs. in actuality, the job creators in the country are really consumers. they are the ones that drive us. giving them more money, bringing the minimum wage up, will help our economy. people have the ability to buy more, consume more, and thus create demand. disappointed it has not advanced more in congress? >> of course. we would like to have seen it done illustrate, let alone next week. we're dealing with a number of issues. we will continue to push for an increase in the minimum wage because that is good policy. it is good for the country because it will create jobs. >> "washington journal" continues.
host: ronald kessler is the author of "in the presidents' secret service." he is here to talk about the role and mission of the secret service, and in particular, the appointment of the first woman to head the secret service. first off, talk to as little bit about the change in the secret service over the last 25-50 years in terms of its initial mission and what the mission of the secret service is now. guest: it started as an agency that was supposed to go after counterfeiters. ironically the last official act that abraham lincoln ever performed was to sign into law legislation creating the secret service. lincoln himself kept resisting having any security, even though the civil war was going on. finally on the night of his assassination, he did agree to have a policeman guard him. this policeman decided to go off
and have a drink a local bar during the theater performance. that is why lincoln was shot and killed. years, theover the secret service did start to perform protective duties involved in the president. they were investigating some gamblers and other people who were trying to defraud the government in colorado, and it turned out that these people also wanted to assassinate the president. secret service agents started guarding the president even though there was not a legislative authority. that is how they very slowly morphed into actually being the secret service we know today. host: earlier this week, president obama appointed julia pearson to head the secret service. who is she? how did she get to this point? guest: she began protective
duties on george h. w. bush casa day tell. after that, she became an administrator. -- bush's detail. after that, she became an administrator. she has gone along and not rocked the vote. there was no indication that she ever came out with any real improvement. i believe that the secret service does need tremendous reform. all you have to do is look at the fact that you had intrusion of the salahis at a state dinner. then the colombian prostitution scandal, which i broke in "the washington post." beyond that in my book, i go and -- i go into other examples about a culture within the great -- we are secret service, we're the best, we do not need more money, we can cut corners. when pressured by white house
staff, either bush or obama, at event, will let people into those event without screenings. what could be more scandalous people ontoetting an airplane without screenings? they also do not keep up-to-date with the latest of firearms. at their training center, in maryland, which i visited, they will have members of congress out to look at these scenarios where secret service agents find before guy, but secretly hand, these scenarios are rehearsed so they know all the answers. that is dishonest. dishonesty has no place in the secret service. they also will allow agents to continue, even though they fail physical fitness tests or firearms qualification tests. they will cover that up by asking agents and their test
scores. no place in law enforcement. these are all scandals. yet president obama over and over has expressed confidence in mark sullivan, the director, and ofelieve she will be a clone mark sullivan. host: mark sullivan was running the secret service during the colombian scandal and left in the wake of that scandal. julia pearson is his chief of staff. , evench real change though she is the first woman to hold this job, how much can we expect in the running of the secret service? guest: absolutely none. i think that is what president obama wanted. think he is impressed by the agents around him. they are very impressive. agents are real patriots. they will take a bullet for the president. that does not mean that the agency as a whole is run properly. it is not. on the lower levels, agents tell
me that they really fear that an assassination could take place because of this culture of laxness. is a high turnover rate. all these problems have been covered up. mark sullivan was very good at cultivating members of congress, cultivating obama, and i think that is why he led the strummed life as secret service director. host: we're talking but the role and mission of the secret service, ronald kessler, the author of "in the presidents' secret service." we want to get you in the conversation -- before we get to your calls, we want to show our viewers just to the secret service protectors. it includes the president and vice president, and also the president and vice president elect, immediate families of
those persons, former president and vice presidents and their spouses and children under the age of 16, visiting heads of foreign states and governments, distinguished foreign visitors, and major presidential and vice- presidential candidates and their spouses. regarding the last one, presidential candidates and vice presidential candidates and their spouses, that is only something in recent history as of about 20-30 years ago, correct? fact, the, in candidates themselves were not protected until after robert kennedy's assassination. he was running for president and had no protection whatsoever. generally congress thinks of the secret service as an afterthought. in fact, the director does not have to be confirmed by the senate, even though you have confirmation by his -- of these obscure people like 94 u.s.
marshals. these are people nobody has ever heard of. the secret service is so important if you have an assassination, it nullifies the democracy. it also investigates national crimes which could entail possible abuses, if they go astray. the fbi director, of course, is confirmed by the senate. i believe the secret service director should also be confirmed by the senate. host: the headline in the "usa today" -- we're talking about that will -- with ronald kessler. john is on our line from democrats from new york. caller: good morning. my question has to do with the historical perspective. i know you open your statement with lincoln signing the law regarding the secret service. regarding the kennedy assassination, was the driver of the vehicle -- not to cast
aspersions on any individual -- with the driver of the vehicle, will be part of the secret service? would he be trained for certain reactions, whether it has to do with gunfire? i was always curious about the driver himself? guest: the driver was a secret service agent. he did hesitate about accelerating. by then, kennedy was already dead. the real take away from the kennedy assassination was that kennedy himself refused to have agents around him. theyey had been there, would have pounced on him after the first shot, which was not fatal. they would have saved his life. here was a president taking a risk. he does not like the appearance of security. you saw the same thing with lincoln. you see the same thing with president obama.
not taking seriously enough the threat that is out there. host: next up is michael on our line for republicans from pennsylvania. your ron "washington journal." kessler, several years ago i liaised with the secret service. i got your opening remarks. i believe they are probably cutting corners. what i am interested in and what i dealt with is these guys have had to face tremendous mission creep, as i would say from military background. it seems to me they are being more and more put into positions that they were not founded to do. i was in bolivia. i ended up palin around with the senior secret service -- palling around with a senior secret service agent. he was monitoring the drug
interdiction that was taking place for the clinton administration. that is not in his job description. the impression is, when the boss says hop, you hop. kenny talk about mission creep and how this impacts their ability to do their primary mission? i'll hang up and listen to you. thank you. not happen. should i do not know why that would be. there has been a tremendous expansion in the secret service duties with the approval of congress. one example is they protect the inauguration. they have been doing that for a while. also, they protect the nominating conventions. they protect the u.n. general assembly when heads of state come to attend that. they keep expanding duties. at the same time, they have not kept pace with demand. the budget of the secret service is one points $6 billion.
that is about the cost -- $1.6 billion. that is about the cost of one stealth bomber. agents are tremendously overworked. they will stay up for 24 hours or longer. yet these are law enforcement officers who are armed and are expected to begin -- to be a good shot. face problemsthey with some of their protective duties. for example, jenna and barbara bush just hated secret service. they tried to edie them. -- evade them. jenna would try to lose them by going through all lights. agentseney demanded that took her friends to restaurants. they are not taxi drivers. they are law enforcement officers were there to protect people. they refused, as they should,
and yet the result was that her detail was removed. that tells you something about secret service management, not backing the agents. that is why the secret service uniformed officers allowed the salahis into the white house even though there were not on the white house. they thought, we turn away and they were supposed to be in the guest list, maybe we could be in trouble. as you can tell from this comment, agents say behind-the- scenes what really goes on. a lot of times that can be pretty nasty. that is another reason why the secret service director should be confirmed. as you remember with jay edgar hoover, he would black male members of congress and presidents with information that he obtained -- blackamil members of congress and presidents with information that he obtained. i go into this in my book.
you want a director that is understands the sensitivity of these investigations and the importance sea -- the importance of the agency. a report byn find the congressional research service. this one we have on the screen -- congress has appropriated approximately $1.6 billion annually for the u.s. secret service. the table shows the secret services at white 2011-2012 budget of 40. -- budget authority. $1.6 billion. francesca calls from florida, on our line for independents. you're on the "washington journal" with ronald kessler. caller: good morning. i thought your book was fantastic. it was a great read. i really enjoyed that president carter at the empty suitcases when he got off the plane.
absolutely fascinating. sad. just so they need to upgrade and beef up. unfortunately, they are not going to do that until something serious happens. that is so sad with the world the way it is today. we need to have our diplomats and the president and his family well secured and will taken care of. once again, your book was a wonderful reid. thank you so much for taking my call. guest: the reference to jimmy carter that he would pretend -- pretend to carry his own luggage, showing he is a great populist, he loves the people, he is an ordinary citizen. actually, the luggage was empty, or he would give it to aids to carry as soon as the cameras were gone. he did told agents that not want them to say hello to him in the morning.
come into the oval office at 5:00 in the morning and told the press office that he was in there working hard for the american people at 5:00, and then he would fall asleep on the sofa. these were the things that the secret service seized. in contrast, president obama is just what he appears to be, a very decent guy. he is thoughtful with agents. both he and mashal have them for dinner several times during the campaign. them for dinner several times during the campaign. these are character traits could not. when you choose an electrician, you do not want somebody who was a nut case. that is what lyndon johnson was. when he was vice president, he was going to the white house to see jfk from the capital, and the secret service was driving him, and it was about 5:00, rush hour. he was late. johnson said, drive on the sidewalk.
while the sidewalk was full of pedestrians. the agent refused. johnson took a newspaper and hit him on head and said, you're fired. that if theell me sky were not president, he would be in a mental hospital. that is how crazy he was dea. host: talk was about the protective services and the uniformed division. caller: the uniformed division is to protect the white house grounds and the white house itself. they also protect embassies. the agents protect the individuals, the president, the first family, etc.. of course, the uniformed division has tremendous responsibilities. almost every day, there is some effort to get into the white house or some individual who demands to the president and will not go away. they have to sometimes kill
people as they go over the fence. there are many devices in the white house to protect the president. one secret is out on the president's desk in various coffee tables there is a replica of the seal. if he turns out over, it sounds an alarm which brings the secret service running from underneath the oval office, armed of course. they also increase the pressure of the air in the white house as a way to try to expel any biological contaminants. ,hen you enter the white house there are detectors that will detect radiation. when protecting the president, the agents focus on a threat list of about 300 people, people who have been known to threaten
the protists -- the president. category three people are people who may actually have the capability of taking up the president, may have had firearms training, are in a position where they could do harm, they are not in prison. in those cases, if the president visit their home town, agents will warn them that they will be watched. the better not go near the president. they will be watched until the president leaves. shot in ane, people drunken stupor, i wish i could kill the president. the secret service will interrogate and investigate. if there is no intent, they will not be prosecuted. the secret service was originally part of the treasury department. it is now part of the department of homeland security. what can you tell us about the relationship between julia
pearson and homeland security secretary janet napolitano? is somebody who goes along and does not rock the vote. i do not know specifically, but obviously the pala tunnel like sir, because otherwise, she would not have been appointed. likes her, because otherwise, she would not have been appointed. from our next call is chris in connecticut, on our line for democrats. go ahead. hello, mr. kessler. i've read one of your books and i've heard you speak before. you like uncovering scandals. i think that is good. i wonder why the secret service is called the secret service. when vice-one time president -- he was not even
vice-president bush yet, he was running for vice president. i had the mistake of having a backpack on when i tried to shake hands with them. a secret service agent grabbed me by my backpack. i pulled out his inner peace. he said, if you do that, you will be arrested. i put my finger in his chest and said, no, if you continue to arrest me, you will be arrested. he put his hands up. without orders, he did not know what to do. a couple other agents came to check me out. it turns out i had nothing dangerous on need. i wanted to shake the candidate's hand. i don't know. i wonder, has any secret service agent ever even tried to take a bullet for the president? i see them not doing that. mccarthytually, agent did take a bullet for the president when ronald reagan was shot. problem withhe
that situation was that the secret service back and did not do screenings of people outside the white house. tot is why hinckley was able bring a firearm within short proximity of ronald reagan. again, that is why it is important that they do ening.ometer screa biden event, where through the first ball at an rioles game, they did knono magnetometer screening. you could have terrace come in and blow him up. the fact that the colombian prostitution scandal was going to be covered up, thought of as an employment situation. i was able to get that story and bring it out. the way you describe what happened with the agent, the
secret service has broad discretion, approved by courts, to take immediate action. they cannot go around getting warrants and looking for probable cause. they need to take immediate action if they suspect something. is when george h. w. bush was in the white house, he liked to go out and speak with people at the gate. the secret service did not like that. they wanted to screen people. he kept going up spontaneously. a few days later, after he had started this, "the washington post" ran a story about it. a few days after that, and individual showed up who sort of fit the profile of an assassin. he was not smiling. everybody else was smiling. he was wearing an overcoat, it was summer.
the agents had him down. sure enough, he had a weapon. he certainly would have used it. that is why the secret service has to have an immediate reaction time. host: we have a picture from your book, not particularly from this incident you're talking about, but in february 2004, an incident, the emergency response team from the secret service's uniformed division is the first line of defense when an individual joins over the fence at the white house. phones.the brandi in wyoming, on our line for republicans. toler: hello, i will try keep it brief. my question is going to be about security clearance for staffers.ation' i remember it being reported that when bill clinton took office in 1993, he had a whole slew, whole bunch of young
people come in as staffers, hardly any of them had security clearance. after two terms of clinton, when bush won election, they say that those officers were trashed in a vindictive way when clinton left. which brings us up to bush. i would assume that since 9/11 happened on his watch that security clearance was really tight. maybe that is a wrong assumption. let's come up to today. can you tell me what kind of security clearance is in place for obama administration staffers? i cannot believe the paid attention to such a thing when they hire something -- hire somebody like van jones. decided?hat how was it respected by incoming presidents? : clearances or done by the fbi.
they have been doing it all the way through. the question is, what standards are applied? during the clinton administration, they started relaxing standards about previous drug use, especially marijuana use, and under bush, that was tightened up as well. it is true that clinton staffers trashed the white house offices when they left. the gao did report on it. that is absolutely true. host: next up is john in north carolina, go ahead. --ler: mr. kessler, host: you turn down your television set, this process will work easier. caller:
my father was a special agent in the detail at key biscayne when they had the compound down there in the 70s and he retired out of the military. he was in charge of the flight line where air force 1 would land and an opening came up and he got the job. i was just wondering, are a lot of the people prior military or most of them have to go through a different -- what is the normal method of choosing someone to do this? in other words, obviously there are all sorts of things that you would have to check and the f.b.i. is thorough. host: we'll leave it there. guest: typically about a third of the agents were former police officer, about a third were former military, and about a third no particular background whatsoever. but what does distinguish them is acceptance of the
possibility that they could be shot and that they could take a bullet for the president. so that obviously weeds out a lot of people. and brings in people who are very dedicated. you can imagine spending a whole day protecting the president in a situation where you could be shot at any time, not to mention the president himself. so it takes a tremendous amount of courage, really, and i've been very impressed. in fact, i know from my f.b.i. books that the f.b.i. admires secret service agents more than any other law enforcement. host: ronald kessler, the author of 19 nonfiction books including in the president's ecret service. 90% of secret service agents are men and women only make up 25% of the secret service in total. so why are the numbers so out
of balance like that? and do you expect that those numbers for women may go up a little bit with the adding of julia pearson now as the director of the secret service? guest: i do think it's about time we had a female director. the first female agent was ccepted in 1975. but even more than police officers, secret service agents do have to have tremendous strength. a lot of times they have to take down an individual who is about to assault the president and so you can't totally pretend that that's not important. at the same time, of course agents -- female agents can be very smart and very important in the protective duty. so i think there is a reason
why only about 10% of the agents are females. >> host: where did the same secret service come from and what is still secret about the secret service? guest: i don't know but i know in various countries have used that designation and obviously it arose from that. but -- host: you see them with the president you know who these guys are because they're the ones with the ear pieces and talking into their cuffs. guest: in addition to that, they have agents who don't have the ear piece running around in plain clothes in other words they could be in jeans, they also have various vehicles in the area. they might have utility truck in the area. for example, when the marine one helicopter takes off they will have a vehicle nearby to look for snipers. so a lot of various surrep
tishes activities go on. when the president goes to a hotel, for example, they of course debug the wole area. they take over the whole floor and the floors above and below. and impose very, very tight security. so they do a good job but they are tremendously overworked. and one really amazing story in the book is that when president george h.w. bush was about to go to enid, oklahoma, to give a campaign speech, the secret service did their usual advance work, checked with local law enforcement to see if there are any threats out there and local law enforcement said there's this psychic in town who has been incredibly reliable in past she actually led us to the bodies of murder victims and she had a vision that he was going to be a sass nated when he comes to enid on an
overpass. so they were embarrassed to take it seriously but they did and they went out and interviewed her. and they said do you know anything more about this? she said yeah i know that the limosines are already here, the president's limosine is referred to as a beast because it's a huge heavy thing. and they said well do you know where the limosines are? yeah, they're at this air force base outside of town. this is on the record there's a photo of one of the agents iron volved in the book in the president's secret service. they said can you show us? so they went out into the hangar. there were five hang garps. they said there's something important in that hangar related to this and in this hangar are the limosines. and sure enough she was right and the other hangar was a backup plane. they still didn't take any action because she said that when bush comes out of the plane the next morning he is going to be wearing a sport jacket and a sports shirt and
they thought that's crazy he's always wearing a suit. but sure enough the next morning he was wearing a sports jacket and sports suit when he came out. so the agents changed the motorcade route so it would not go under any overpasses and of course he was safe. he was not told about it. he knows about it now because of this book. >> the agent you referred to, secret service norm jarvis who has a picture here in your book on the south lawn of the white house sfwr viewed the psychic as part of the advanced preparations for a trip by george hw bush taken to oklahoma. and then based on the psychic's vision that a sniper would assassinate the president the secret service changed the route. back to the phones. larry in naples, florida, independents. caller: thanks for taking my call. i'm wondering how secret service thinks the influx of the rapid fire automatic fire
weapons with large clips has impacted the secret service in protecting the president. and the example that comes to mind is ronald reagan. hinkley had an old-fashioned revolver that shot just a couple shots is all he could get off. and if he had had a modern gun i suspect that we would have lost the president and perhaps a few secret service agents. so i'm wondering what changes have been made? i don't want to get too specific but that would be interesting to know how modern weanses are impacting our situation. >> weapons are impacting our situation. >> guest: obviously the more lethal the more the threat. the secret service does not keep up to date with the latest firearms. that's another problem. the f.b.i. and even amtrak police use more powerful weapons than what the secret service is using.
but threats can come from any direction. it could be terrorists, it could be earmarks closives. it could be a handgun which at least is easier to conceal. so you can't really focus on one particular threat at the expense of other threats. host: arblings virginia. on our line for republicans. caller: i was just wondering if the investigation of the secret service prostitution scandal is still ongoing. the last thing i heard was that apparently the d.e.a. had provided at least one of the prostitutes to one of the agents. and one thing that i just wanted to add is that i am a former agent not a secret service agent but former agent with the federal government and i did work with them on various details. and one thing that i do
remember is the secret service agents bragging about the kinds of things that they did overseas which included some of the prostitution stuff. so i just wanted to know what was going on and what the investigation -- and that's my question. host: which agency were you with? caller: i'm retired now and i just want to stay away from anything. it's one of the three-letter agencies. i was on the jump team with them and i did work on the u.n. detail. host: and is it your feeling that the activities that took place in colombia was more routine? caller: it was very routine and this is going back into the 90s. so this has been going on for quite a while, not nothing new. guest: it's my impression that has not been a big problem even though we did see that example in colombia even though you
mentioned picking up information about it in the 90s. but i do think that the behavior is manifestation of this lax management attitude. in other words, agents say to themselves, you know, the management is cutting corners, the management is letting people in without mag in a tomatoer screening, the management is not backing us when we lay down the rules. why shouldn't we have a good time? so there is a correlation there, in my opinion. host: julia pearson has signaled that talked about the importance of technology upgrades for the secret service agency. what kind of upgrades do you think that may be put in place with her as the director? guest: the secret service has been way behind when it comes to sexureltses for example, just totally -- computers, for example, just way in the dark ages so that is a necessary change as well as as i
mentioned just firearms and another thing that they do is they will allow agents to come even though they fail physical fitness tests, even though they fail firearms requalifications test and they coverp that up by asking agents to fill out their own test scores so there's this element of dishonesty there. and just absolutely unacceptable. host: howard in arkansas on our line for i understandents. go ahead. guest: -- independents. caller: i have a question about the white house staff. if they're foreigners are they protect bid the secret service? guest: if a white house staff came from another country? caller: right now there are six muslims on the white house staff and i was wondering are they all checked out by secret service and protected? guest: well, everybody in the white house is checked out. the f.b.i. does a background
investigation. but i totally reject your characterization of they're muslims therefore they're a threat. the vast majority o of muslims are peace loving. we need them on our side to get leads, for example. the f.b.i. which i've written about absolutely detests that kind of attitude because it marginalizes good peace-loving patriotic americans. so i just absolutely reject your characterization of muslims being a threat. and by the way, the previous caller said that i love to uncover scandals and that is true, but i also love to just portray how things work and i think that's one reason why i've been given the access i've been given by these agencies. i love to get into, for example, how the f.b.i. does profiling, how the f.b.i. does its laboratory work, and i
think that's one thing that gives me credibility when it comes to writing about these subjects. host: our next call comes from john in louisiana on our line for republicans. caller: mr. kessler, it's an interesting comment you made about in the discussion of why there are not more women in the secret service and your rationale of the necessity to take somebody down. i wonder how you can square that with the fact that just a few months ago women are now allowed to be in front line in bat units in a war zone with 70 pounds of equipment. and what is it about a secret service agent that would require greater strength than that soldier in the field carrying all the equipment in an urban environment where they're up and down stairs and in close combat with people. i would be interested to hear
your rationale why secret service would be to a higher physical requirement than those people. guest: in some terms agents are more likely to engage in actual close encounters with an individual. taking them down, preventing them from getting a shot off. but obviously these are all things that we can argue about endlessly. i don't have any strong opinion on it. host: thank you very much for being on the "washington journal" this morning. guest: thank you. host: coming up on this edition, paul barrett author of the book, glock. the rise of america's gun, will join us to talk about how that gun came to dominate the market and the popular culture. we'll be right back.
>> mr. secretary we're going to ut them down as undecided. mr. chairman, as i listened to me comments, it struck what a wonderful thing free speech is. >> that was the hearing where donald rumsfeld was making the justifications tor attacking iraq and what you didn't hear in the clip wrr questions that we got a chance to ask him, which is how much money is hall burten going to make from this war? how many u.s. soldiers will be killed? how many iraqi civilians will die? and i would like those questions answered now by somebody like donald rumsfeld. monday night, anna harrison,
whose husband dies after a month in office. lettisha tyler. she passes away just a year and a half later and julia tyler becomes the second wife. >> i think of the madonna. she loved publicity. she had actually posed as a model at a time when that was frowned upon. she was known as the rose of long island. by all accounts was bewitching. she certainly bewitched 57-year-old john tyler. who married her. and she loved being first lady. she had the job for less than a year but it was julia tyler who ordered the marine band to play hail to the chief whenever the president appears. it was also julia tyler who
greeted her guests sitting on a throne on a raised platform with purple plumes in her hair almost as if she receded to that more queenly role that martha washington has deliberately rejected. "washington journal" continues. host: paul barrett is author of the book, glock, the rise of america's gun. and he's also an assistant managing editor at boomberg business week and joins us from new york to talk about the influence of glock hand guns in the u.s. welcome to the program. guest: thank you very much. glad to be here . host: why focus a book on the glock handgun? guest: well, more than any other handgun, in the last 30
years or so, the glock -- which is made in austtra and was invented only in the early 1908s, has really shaped the american market for hand guns and has had more of an influence on american popular culture than any other single gun. and as a result, it seemed to me that by tracing the history of the glock, you could understood the history of the gun in america since the 1980s and since firearms are such a big topic of controversy in our country, it seemed appropriate to choose this particular gun to write basically a biography about. host: tell us who is glock and how did he come to invent the gun that we now know that now bears his name? uest: he was a, an otherwise undistinguished engineer and factory manager in austria in the early 1980s around 50 years
old. he ran a factory during the day outside vienna and had a small met al shop in his garage that he ran with his wife. and he had an opportunity because of contact with the austrian military to put his hand up and volunteer to design a new firearm, a new side arm for the austrian army when he decided to replace its world war ii era pistols. this was very odd because glock had no specific experience in the gun industry whatsoever. he didn't even own guns himself. but it turned out that this strange lack of experience became one of his great qualifications because he started with a blank piece of paper. rather than tinkering with existing designs, he gathered some of the leading hand gun experts of the day in europe and asked them what would the ideal military and police style
handgun look like. and they came up with the glock, which has a number of featuring that at the time were very innovative and since have come to dominate the hand gun field all across the world. host: talk to us about the, how the glock changed the culture, the handgun culture in the united states, which up until then had been mostly a revolver culture. guest: that's exactly right. revolvers were the dominant handgun in this country. more than 90% of police officers in this country carried smith and wessen revolvers. surrounding ower firearms was dominated by revolvers going back to the 19th century and the colt peace maker, the handgun that was known tazz gun that settled the west, won the west. and glock stepped forward with
a large capacity, partly plastic, semi-automatic pistol and said this is the handgun of the future. you can -- it can accommodate more rounds of ammunition, 17 rounds compared to five or six in the smith and wessen. it is more dureable because it's made partly out of industrial strength plastic rather than the tradition al materials of wood and steel. it is far simpler than comparable semi-automatic pistols. it had about one third the parts of the sexestors of the time made by well known companies like bretta and signature. and it is very simple to learn how to use. and all of these attributes were very, very appealing to american police departments, which coincidentally in the mid 1980s when glock first brought the gun to this country, were very much in the market for a
new handgun. they were under the impression that the traditional revolver was no longer sufficient for fighting the violent crime problems that they faced in the mid and late 1980s, when as you will recall crack cocaine trafficking was peaking and urban violence was rising steadily. so the police were very receptive to glock's marketing pitch that this futuristic looking, black, matt finish looking glun looked like something out of the star trek was the future. and police rushed to embrace it. the market which is by far the richest handgun market in the world. host: we're talking with paul barrett, the author of glock, the rise of the american gun, also managing editor with business bloomberg week and taking your calls regarding the influence of glock hand guns in
the stumplet. the numbers there on the creen. as always, we'll take your comments on social media. particularly we would like to hear from gun owners especially those that own the glock. before we get to the phone calls, talk to us a little bit about congressional interest in the glock and the end result. guest: absolutely. the glock, because it was so different from other guns, immediately attracted attention and interest both positive and negative, in this country. gun control proponents, people who were skeptical of widespread gun ownership, zeroed in on the glock by name as soon as it appeared they labeled it the high jakers special with the accusation being that because it's made
partly out of plastic, it would be able to defy airport security. and as you will recall in the 1908s, high jaking and hi jackers demanding that planes be taken to certain third world countries was a big problem. this resulted in the glock being banned by name in some jurisdictions such as new york city. and it resulted in congressional investigations, hearings, glock at the time barely spoke english and certainly was not known in this country was brought over to washington and he testified before committee in the house and there was a huge controversy over the so-called plastic pistol and whether it presented a new security threat. as it happened, this attack on the glock, this effort to stamp it out before it became popularized in this country had the opposite effect from what gun control proponents intended.
they wanted to stop the glock and instead they made it notorious. they brought attention to it that it never would have had otherwise. and this made the glock a sensation and then it turned out that the accusation that it could defy airport security was entirely false. federal officials testified efore congress from the faa, atf and they said we're not particularly concerned about the glock. so the allegation that the glock was going to present a special security threat went away. and what was left was a gun had become famous almost overnight. it was embraced by the n.r.a., it was embraced by police departments. and very soon as soon as it became available in the civilian market it was embraced by civilian gun owners in this country as well as hollywood which we might talk about as we move along. host: first we're going to take a call from washington on our line for independents.
caller: good morning. two weeks tafert sandy hook shooting when the president took to the stage when he made his press conference with the ids on stage, he had a -- an ability there to show leadership. instead, what he did i'm sure he -- he approved it. the letter he read on stage said, please force congress to ban machine guns. if i got that wrong, correct me, please. but i'm pretty sure that was machine guns. now, machine guns have been completely illegal for a long long time. he showed extremely poor leadership in basically politicizing the gun concern issue to a point that it could
never come back. and i figured out right then that nothing was going to come out of it. host: i thought you had finished with your thought. talk to us about the politics of hand guns and what role the glock plays in that. guest: absolutely. the glock because of its large ammunition capacity and the fact that it can be fired very quickly has been central to the gun control debate in this country right from the beginning. congress when it enacted the initial so-called assault weapons ban in 1994 actually had the glock in part in mind. when members of congress were debating that bill on the floor of the house, they referred specifically to the glock and they referred to an earlier sensational mass shooting one that took place in 1991 in
texas, which up until that point was the worst civilian mass shooting in this country in history. and the fear was that because of its large ammunition capacity, the glock would exacerbate the danger of these random mass killings. so as part of that assault weaps ban in 1994, congress banned ammunition magazines that could contain more than ten rounds. this affected the glock because the model had the 17 rounds magazines. however, again as with the earlier attack on the plastic pistol, the high jaker special, in a lot of ways the assault weapons ban backfired and here's why. glock saw the ban coming because it takes several years for a law like that to get enacted and in the buildup to the ban, the company basically ran its factory three shift as day, seven day as week and
built up a huge stockpile of so-called pre--banned magazines. and guns to accommodate them. when the law was enacted, it had a provision that allowed equipment made before the day of enactment to be sold and possessed legally. so all of this equipment that previously had been legal remained legal, and its value went up because new models of that sort couldn't be built. glock increased its profits and in fact the large capacity magazines became more popular with gun owners who tend to be drawn to equipment that the government tries to ban. so this is a consistent theme throughout the history of the glock pistol and it's a consistent theme in the history of gun regulation in this country since the early 18990s that the debate over tougher laws to restrict gun ownership and gun manufacturing and marketing tend to have the
opposite effect from what they're intended. they tend to popularize the weapon that gets targeted and tend to result in a greater proliferation of that weapon. and that's been a tremendous commercial advantage to glock which has benefited host: next up is peter on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i am annexed the service person. i may the atomic that. , in i was with the state carried a colt python 357. i fired that against the smith and wesson. no comparison. , but id firepower needed something that when i hit, it would state. -- stay. my concern is right now -- safety. i recently purchased a 384 my
or my daughter. f it has a built-in safety mechanism, you need a key to lock it. , leaveeave the clip in it in the car, but you can't use it. , you willll into it destroy the mechanism and the gun is an operable. thecan't people, not only manufacturers in this country, but also abroad, make a safety device? that is my concern. i appreciate you taking this call. host: paul barrett, go ahead. guest: that is an excellent question, and one that has risen since the glock's first surfaced in this in the 1980's. the glock is notable for the fact that it has no external safety whatsoever, let alone the kind of lock and key system
that that last caller was referring to. gaston glock's argument is that glock has a trigger safety, it has a trigger within the trigger, and the gun cannot be triggerless both the safety and the trigger itself are depressed. his argument is that safe use of firearms require that you keep your he -- you keep your finger off the trigger until you are prepared to shoot and destroy something. that is a very controversial argument, and many people would disagree. and would say that an external safety mechanism of some sort is preferable. , gaston glocktime has basically one of that argument. the glock's design prevails. there is been a lot of surrounding the glock over the years, over this question, but as a marshal matter, as a matter of popular taste, consumers in
this country have gravitated toward models of guns that do not have external safety mechanisms. it is quite an interesting -- and in some ways -- raffling development, -- baffling developing, as that last caller's tone indicated. ont: next color is michael the independent line. caller: good morning. good morning to all of your listeners. why does everything in america have to be divided between republicans and democrats? why can't we have this as a discussion between people who believe in the safety and others who believe it is not? host: are you talking about the way we divide the call-in line? caller: no, i am talking about the discussion in general.
fall inthe democrats the to regret that are not for guns. host: paul barrett, among republicans and democrats, did there seem to be one route that is a bigger fan of the glock than the other? guest: i don't know about the glock in particular, certainly the glock company would be happy to sell firearms to anyone am a regardless of party. they would not market himself report -- axel's lovely to republicans moreover, specifically republicans are more likely to be gun owners than democrats if you look at the nation of a whole. i think it is actually more helpful to look at the country regionally rather than by political parties. in no states where gun ownership is very prevalent and where there is opposition to stricter regulation of guns, democrats asd to be just as pro-gun
their republican neighbors. we are seeing a layout and the current, post new town connecticut -- post-newtown, connecticut argument. senate majority leader harry reid, who is a democrat, has been notably unenthusiastic about pushing new gun-control rules, and that is because he comes from nevada, where you cannot get elected, let alone reelected, if you are seen as anti-gun. harry reid is quite friendly with the nra. he is right now doing nothing to accelerate the passage of any new law in the senate. enthusiasmyou that for gun ownership really transcends party lines in the united states. guns are deeply woven into the culture and politics of this inntry, and many democrats western states, and southern
states, and midwestern midwestern states, are quite enthusiastic about firearms, shooting sports, so forth. host: dirty water said that they tweak that says, i read your books, and thoroughly enjoyed it. tell us why gaston named it the glock 17. guest: that is an interesting question. i appreciate the government. many people think that the first model was called glock 17 an ammunition capacity of 17 rounds in the magazine. that is actually a myth. gaston glock, who was quite proud of his innovative skills, named it the glock 17 because the patents that he filed in connection with that first firearm was his 17th patent. whatis where -- that is the number refer stew. glock has since been named darius models, the glock 17,
the glock 19, 21, 22 -- in fact, those numbers do not correspond with anything at all. it is quite a confusing system that gun enthusiast speculate about what those numbers mean. host: we're talking about the influence of glock handguns in the united states united states with paul barrett, author of "glock -- the rise of america's and he is also oabnn assistant managing editor of "bloomberg businessweek," and you can read some of his articles at businessweek.com. when a caller from north dakota. caller: good morning. :, my dog is barking in the background. host: we got a little bit of that. we all love dogs, that is fine. caller: she did not start barking until two seconds ago. the question is, what does glock have for the future if the
gun ban goes through -- say, a handguns are only allowed to have seven round magazines. would that make all current glock owners have an illegal gun if that goes through? what is in the future for glock on that? tost: first, what is likely be enacted on a federal level, and two, how would that affect glock's? there are proposals now to limits magazine capacity to 10 rounds, but those proposals are at the moment attached to the assault weapons restrictions, which appear to be completely politically dead in congress. personally, i would be surprised if at the end of this tumultuous legislative process, we see any kind of significant limitation on magazine capacity. that is a prediction -- i am
not saying whether that would be good or bad. i'm just saying as a matter of political practicality, particularly when the debate moves to the republican- controlled house. i do not think we will see any kind of significant magazine restriction. having said that, i think we can say with certainty that there would not be any kind of tan on on thesession -- obf ban possession of large capacity magazines. the collection in private hands will remain in private hands. no one has proposed confiscating anything as a part of federal legislation. important thing to say. finally, let's imagine a half a hypothetical -- a hypothetical situation, would that affect that specialize in large about the handguns. the answer is for the most part
no because over the years, clark has -- glock has ever survived and produced firearms with all kinds of different capacities. i think glock would continue to thrive making firearms that accommodate 10 rounds or fewer. i think what would happen is that the equipment that is already out there, the large capacity equipment, would go up in value if the sale of new such equipment were banned. and this would eventually benefit glock, which have large stockpiles of this equipment in its warehouses. host: is gaston glock still alive? guest: he is. he is in his 80's. a muchntly remarried to younger woman. there is a fair amount of turmoil within the glock land over that remarriage and his falling out with his longtime first wife and his adult
children, but gaston glock is still alive, lives in southern astria, and is quite prominent person and basically a celebrity in his home country of austria. host: at the weight in at all on the gun controversy here in the united states and the controversy over magazine capacity for his pistol? guest: he way then very indirectly. because of his advanced age, and he has had health problems in recent years, he does not travel to this country as much as he used to. weighs in anen -- lettersmakes -- in open through firearm magazines where his thoughts and musings might be published. he has become a stalwart defender of robust second
amendment rights and generally opposes all efforts to restrict guns in this country. has been as a company very supportive of the nra, which is the main lobbying group opposing tougher gun control. glock continues -- contribute money to the nra and has a close relationship with them. host: the next call for paul barrett comes from norm in ohio. caller: good morning. a very intriguing conversation. i have not read the books, but i plan to go get it. i am a glock owner. that being said, why is glock the most copied pistol in the world with its trigger mechanism? would you disagree or agree that the right to bear arms is under assault from within our
bureaucracies in washington dc they wantton, d.c., to tax it? --e portly, are you aware more importantly, are you aware of the chinese ammunitions coming into the country that are defective that are ruining magazines because you are pretty knowledgeable about firearms? nobody sells a glock better than barack. thank you. host: paul barrett. questionseries of and observations there. let me pick out a few of them to respond to. short and simple answer as to why the glock has been imitated to the degree that it has -- and that is a fair premise -- is that gaston glock's design works. you may not like the fact that
the gun has such a stripped-down design, that it lacks a safety mechanism, that it does not have the elegant appearance of the traditional 1911 pistol that has its roots in this country, but the glock works. it is very simple in design. even if it is not a groupie leslie cared for and cleaned -- scrupulously cared for and cleaned, even if things are not perfectly aligned, the gun will still fire. i think that is what it is valued for. that is that question. as for the last observation, i believe that the caller is correct that democratic politicians who are seen as being anti-gun or at least skeptical of widespread firearm ownership are the main effect,
big salesman for guns. we saw that in the 1990's with president clinton, and we certainly saw it with president obama. his election in 2008 led to what the gun industry came to refer as the obama surge -- a huge run on sales in 2009 of both firearms and ammunition. this is an observation i made without taking sides, without being partisan about it, but because of the perceived threat of greater restriction, gun owners ran into gun stores and bought another firearm, but a store of ammunition. this has happened again in the wake of the horrible school shooting in newtown, connecticut. since that terrible event in december of last year, because on by the nra,ed
were persuaded that the president would push a new round of gun restrictions -- which he has done -- they have gone to the gun stores and more or less cleaned out the shelves. there are certain types of firearms and ammunitions that are difficult to get because they have all been sold and they are on backorder for six months or more. so that is a process that is diffused with irony, but it is a very real process in this country. is dan in up trinidad, colorado on our line for independent. caller: i want to thank mr. barrett for discussing this this morning in a very objective manner. more journalists would express their ways the way mr. barrett has, there would be a better debate in this country rather than just an emotional reaction from people. -- i think that we need to
you keep describing the block is having -- the glock as having high-capacity magazines. smith & wesson also has a high- capacity magazine, beretta does. -- many of these imitate the glock. that are onlyons nine round magazines, and they're much more easily concealed. because ofoint is these restrictions, i think we have a populace in the united states that is now much better off than anybody has ever seen before because we have -- you can't go by reloading machines
am a supplies, bullets. i'm talking about reloading components. they are so hard to come across right now. the idea of confiscation will be almost impossible. the united states general population has more high- capacity magazines, more weapons, more rounds of ammunition than probably ever in the history of the united states. thank you for being objective, once again. host: all there in new york, go ahead -- paul barrett in new york, go ahead. guest: what that last caller said is in a suitable. we have more firearms in the hands of americans today than we have at any other time in the past. most estimates put that at more than 300 million firearms in private hands, not counting the police and the military. those 300 million firearms are not spread evenly across the
population, so it is not at as if every household in the united states is armed. but those households where there better armednow than they ever have been before. i think multiple gun ownership is quite common. i think many of those firearms are equipped with large capacity magazines. when you shift from the handgun market to the rifle market, i think the popularity of the aar , which is a large capacity, military style, semiautomatic rifle, frequently has magazines i can do, a 20 rounds. because of the popularity of those models, i would say the caller is correct. that portion of the population that is armed is now better armed than it ever has been in
the past. host: is the glock a semiautomatic pistol? guest: yes. a semiautomatic of a designation that refers to a weapon that has a magazine, in other words, a spring-loaded, rectangular box that snaps into the receiver, the bottom part of the gun. each launching of mechanicalcauses a process whereby the next round is brought up into the firing chamber from the magazine and prepared to be fired. a semi automatic is really a distinct and when you talk about handguns from the revolver, which rather than having and ammunition magazine, has a cylinder with slots for each
round. mechanicalifferent function. it is important to make the decision between a semi automatic wire arm, which may have -- firearm, which may have a large magazine capacity, but which still only fires one round when you pull the ticket. a machineomatic, or gun. the decision with an automatic weapon -- it will fire a continuous burst of rounds as long as you press the trigger. as such, it is far more lethal than a semi automatic weapon. our troops and the military are riflesly equipped with that are so-called select fire. they can fire either in automatic mode or in semiautomatic mode. in the civilian marketplace, only semiautomatic weapons are are available generally. it is possible to own a machine
gun, but you have to go through a special licensing process, and it is much more difficult to own a machine gun and almost impossible to sell them to the public at large. host: is it possible to retool a glock to fire in automatic mode? guest: i think a very skilled gunsmith could full around with a glock in a way that could make it automatic, but i don't think an ordinary person could do that. , ingeniousy simple is not design, but that a very prevalent problem. that said, glock makes an op -- makes an automatic model. the glock 18. which is a pistol machine gun. if you have that and you press the trigger, it will empty a 30 round magazine in a space of
several seconds. fromecoil is so powerful the glock 18 that people who have not used it before tends to end up shooting the ceiling because the recoil is so strong that they will end up with the barrel of the gun pointing up. but the glock 18 is available only to law enforcement and the military. it is not available to civilians generally. host: if i go and buy a glock at my neighborhood gun store, what is the bullet capacity in a standard magazine that comes with the gun? guest: if you get the basic, original model -- the glock 17 -- was additionally, it has a capacity for 17 rounds in the magazine, and you can, if you wish, carry-on 18th round in the chamber. but glock, as one of the colors indicated,-- callers
makes a range of pencils, including some that are quite compact. they were originally marketed in the mid-1990's as baby blocks. and of those have ammunition capacity of nine rounds or 10 rounds and are more easily concealable. chairman for concealed carry. -- they are meant for concealed carry. so you can basically purchase a glock for whatever your desire use is. if you're going to carry it concealed, you can get a small one with a smaller ammunition capacity. if you're using it for home defense and want to have a large capacity, you can find that, as well. and glock can also accommodate quite large magazines. massw in the tucson shooting in which former congresswoman giffords was one of the victims, the killer in that case use a glock 19, but he had an extended magazine with 30
rounds and was able to empty that. part of the reason why he was as effective as he was tragically, killings of a people, and wounding 70 people, was that he was able to get all of those 30 rounds off very quickly. host: larry in kansas city, missouri, on our line for democrats. you are on the "washington journal" with paul barrett, author of "glock -- the rise of america's gun." caller: good morning, paula. good morning to all of the viewers. i have several, then a quick question. i own the various handguns. to me, you have to get a lot of practice with the glock's, and less you are using a smaller caliber, because the recoil is so strong on some of the bigger calibers. my other question is, why
haven't they considered raging the age limit for buying these? and thatn missouri you can be 18 and buy a bushmaster, which my 18-year-old back.d a couple of years and 21 to buy a handgun. my thing is that you are still a kid when you are 18. your mental state or the way that you make decisions is not the decision that you would make verses you being 25. host: we will leave it there. all barrett? -- paul barrett? is making acaller reasonable proposal. there is plenty of research showing that the brain is still developing through the teen years, and that people do tend to show more matured that -- more mature judgment as they get to toward their and late 20's. that is a legislative proposal,
a sociological issue. i do not think my personal views on that are all that relevant, but what i can tell you is that the national rifle association and the second amendment activists generally would fiercely opposed any such proposal. i don't think it would be likely to be an active at a -- enacted at a national level. s for the collars first -- as which hast, more recall, less recoil, a lot of that is a matter of personal taste. firearmslly have used made by all of those companies. they all make high-quality firearms. a standard nine millimeters handgun certainly has recoil,
whether that is manageable, whether it is made by glock or smith & wesson or what have you. host: we have been talking with paul bailey -- paul barrett, author of "glock -- the rise of america's gun." you can find out more at glock thebook.com. you can read his articles online at businessweek.com. he has been talking to us live your thank you for being on "washington journal." guest: thank you for having me. host: coming up on tomorrow's edition of the "washington aurnal," we begin with discussion with stan colander -- ci.lender and peter mori they will talk about the prospects of the house and senate to come up with a 2014 budget.
whether they were reach a resolution during their conference. and we will also be talking tallent.ecca talent -- we will be talking about a group of senators, including senator john mccain, working on an immigration bill, reportedly hoping to have it ready to introduce when congress comes back into session early in april. i want to thank everyone who participated in this edition of the "washington journal," and we will see you here tomorrow morning right here at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. ♪